Letters – week 30

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A816 needs a trim

Sir,

On a recent bus journey to Oban per A816, formally a trunk road, our driver stopped at Kilmore to pick up a passenger. This is a heavily wooded area with ever-quickening growth of alders.

The door flew open allowing 900mm of new growth alder to enter the bus. The lady passenger takes her seat, whereupon the driver presses a second button and the door closes and an alder branch is now held captive between the ‘jaws’ of the door weather seal.

The bus moves off and the errant alder branch is released and springs back to the roadside free to resume its rapid, rampant growth.

A fellow passenger remarked: ‘This would not happen in Germany or Switzerland.’

I replied, ‘Aye, but they don’t have our heavy rainfall, smoor, and mild conditions through winter and summer.’

Also, when BEAR’s big, brutal, tractor with its heavy chain flails is not in use it is parked in the corner of Tarbert car park. This parking bay is covered by branches of ash overspilling from the privately owned industrial estate.

With maintenance of road verges becoming ever more challenging and costly year on year clearly blue sky thinking is needed. I would even go so far as to suggest that the department for roads consider monetising their grass and other biomass. Possible markets for the roadside harvest could include silage, bedding for cattle, wood chip, pellets and logs. Even the non-native and ultra fast growing bamboo for use as flooring, socks and more.

Duncan I. MacDougall, Tarbert

A83 lights chaos

Sir,

I wish to respond to your news article regarding the A83 roadwork traffic lights chaos in your recent edition (July 12).

It came as a great surprise to me when I read that BEAR Scotland stated that they have never before been alerted to similar issues with pedal cyclists traversing this busy and narrow stretch of road during the last two years or so. As a driver and a cyclist, it would seem obvious to me that a cyclist travelling up a fairly steep hill will take much longer to finish his journey on the narrow single track section of road.

I have two main questions to ask:

1. Are the temporary traffic lights designed to change after a cyclist has completed this section of road, or are they set to change after a pre-set time period? I feel that this point needs to be clarified.

2. Why has it never been decided to allow cyclists to use the much-heralded relief road and have it identified as such? This would appear to be a sensible and obvious solution to this ongoing problem. Has this never been discussed?

I would suggest that BEAR Scotland and our Scottish Transport Secretary, Mr Michael Matheson, have a good discussion on this topic. Tourism brings a lot of money into the country and it’s disappointing when ill thought-out procedures are allowed to cause annoying and potentially life-threatening incidents on our roads.

Robert McCall, Lochgilphead

Islay in darkness

Sir

Myself and Councillor Alastair Redman have some concerns about the impact new street lighting could have on an historic Islay village.

We are concerned that the installation of new streetlights, mounted on metal lamp-posts, could detract from the appearance of some roads in Port Charlotte, which is a designated conservation area. The new lights would replace wall-mounted lights and could, residents fear,  make a significant impact on the character of the area.

A number of residents have been in contact about this matter as they fear that the introduction of these lights, which are really more suited to an urban setting, are inappropriate to their village.

I think it is incumbent on the council to show some regard to their concerns as local people are, rightly, proud of their architectural heritage and do not want to see it compromised by the insensitive implementation of a policy which is not appropriate for their community.

I would urge them to look again at this issue.

Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron

Thank you, Tarbert

Sir,

As a regular visitor to Tarbert I was recently on holiday for four days to see the Seafood Festival.

On the Friday, whilst out walking through the village, my walking assistance buggy went into a pothole causing me to lose balance and fall over. Within seconds I was surrounded by people all offering their assistance, one of whom called an ambulance.

Whilst waiting for the medical team I was looked after and provided with care and comfort by a number of locals and visitors. I didn’t have the chance to say much at the time but would like to take this opportunity now to thank everyone who helped me and provided assistance and kindness.

Catherine McNab, Barrhead

Landfill stench

Sir,

As a resident living close to the centre of Lochgilphead, I am becoming increasingly concerned about the putrid stench coming from the landfill site. Not only can you smell the waste when driving past the site, but the wind carries the foul stench into Lochgilphead itself and surrounding area.

I believe this is wholly unacceptable particularly as we have a hospital and school campus nearby. I hope that the appropriate authorities will now do something about it.

Stephen Hunter, Manse Brae, Lochgilphead